Top bathroom trends for 2017

Bathroom Trends 2017
Jeff Davis Photography

Whether your bathroom needs an update or you want to improve the look of your home to attract buyers, the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) www.nkba.org provides insights gleaned from an annual survey of the association’s members. The members, who are design professionals from around the country, tend to work with deep-pocketed customers. However, some of the trends they identify can be incorporated into remodeling projects for more budget-minded homeowners.

Top bathroom trends for 2017 include:

  • Traditional style is out. Contemporary and transitional styles are both more popular than traditional style for bathrooms. In addition, Shaker-style is becoming more popular for bathrooms, along with mid-century modern. These trends correlate with homebuyer preferences for clean lines and an uncluttered look in every room of the house.
  • White and gray color schemes are everywhere. By far the most popular color schemes for bathrooms are gray and white, echoing the look of Carrara marble. Among trendier designers looking for more of a wow factor, blue, violet and purple touches are being introduced into bathrooms. Some contemporary bathrooms include stainless-steel vanities, but white-painted vanities and gray paint are far more common.
  • Vessel sinks are fading. Pedestal sinks and vessel sinks are both declining in popularity as homeowners prefer under-mounted bathroom sinks. Also gaining in popularity: trough sinks, which are a smaller equivalent of farmhouse-style sinks in kitchens.
  • Freestanding tubs are the in accessory. While many remodeling projects in the master bathroom include the replacement of a combination tub-and-shower or a separate soaking tub with an oversized shower, one exception to this trend is the preference for freestanding tubs. Sixty percent of the designers surveyed think there will be more requests for these sculptural freestanding tubs in 2017, although these are primarily in vogue among homeowners with plenty of discretionary money to spend and a large master bathroom.
  • Bathroom safety becoming a priority. Whether this is a reflection of an aging population or simply more awareness of the ability to increase safety and comfort in bathrooms, more homeowners are opting for items like comfort-height toilets, seats in showers, lighting in showers and no-threshold showers. These features are helpful to people as they age and others with mobility issues. At the same time, homeowners realize they add comfort and convenience to all family members.
  • Expect more high-tech features in future bathrooms. Designers say some of the emerging trends coming this year and in the future include music in the shower, radiant floor heating, self-cleaning toilets and “smart toilets” that include heated seats, automated flushing, a nightlight and overflow protection. At the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, several manufacturers of bathroom fixtures demonstrated programmable systems to cycle through multiple showerheads and set preferences for each family member. Water-saving toilets and faucets are already becoming mainstream for homeowners remodeling their bathrooms.
  • New storage options gaining in popularity. While wood vanities and linen storage cabinets are still the most common storage options for bathrooms, “floating” vanities, which are attached to the wall without support underneath are increasingly being used in high-end bathrooms. Open shelving is also requested more often than in the past.
  • Faucet colors are changing. While brushed nickel replaced gold faucets years ago, designers say the new colors that are becoming more popular are brushed brass and gold. Homeowners appear to be open to mixing different metals in their kitchens and for other hardware, a trend that could spread to bathrooms.

While trends can be interesting to follow, it doesn’t mean you must adhere to the tastes of other homeowners or designers, particularly if you plan to stay in your home for years to come. It makes more sense to pick what you love – even if that means you install an untrendy whirlpool tub – and to wait until you’re ready to sell and for tastes to change again before you make any updates based on buyer preferences.